Dear Board Member/Advisor,
I’m writing today to ask you to share some information about your skills and experience that is critical to the development of a viable long-range plan for FOML.
There are many roles and skills that have a direct bearing on the success of an organization like ours. I have included a list of them with this communication–with brief definitions to ensure we’re on the same page. Please take some time to look through them and assess where your talents best align with them.
Then, on January 8, I will send you a very brief survey to give you the opportunity to tell me which of these roles you are best suited to and approximately how much of your time you are able to share. Reading this will give you food for thought so you can complete the survey quickly and easily. The deadline for sending back the survey is January 12.
Armed with the information you have provided, the Executive Committee will get to work assembling a preliminary long-range plan for your review…a plan that will, hopefully, lay out a clear roadmap for FOML, as we pursue our mission to help Friends groups prosper across Michigan.
Sue Johnson, FOML President
Key Roles and Skills
Project Management: When the board identifies a special project, you would be responsible for managing that project, including (a) identification of tasks, (b) identification of resource needs, (c) establishing deadlines, (d) tracking progress, and (e) providing updates to the board.
Event Planning: Very similar to “Project Management” except that this would specifically focus on regular meetings (e.g., “Talk about Friends,” Annual Meeting) or on one-time special events (e.g., “Online Selling Symposium”).
Communications: There are written and verbal modes of communication. So, you might lend a hand in writing copy for articles to be posted on our website or in our newsletter. You might also write email copy for communications to members or other key audiences. Or, if your skills are more verbal, you could have a role in presenting at meetings or serving as “the talent” in instructive videos.
Social Media: There are two main components to social media. There is the technical aspect, which involves a familiarity with how to use the platforms (Facebook for now), how to navigate it, and how to get the most benefit from its capabilities. Basically, it is social media administration. Then, there is the “content” aspect, which involves either identifying ideas and stories for posting in social media and writing them up, or doing the same for ideas that are submitted by others. This is a critical skill set in the modern world of marketing communications.
Fundraising: This involves having the interpersonal skills to reach out to business entities, trusts and some individuals to encourage monetary donations in support of the mission of FOML. This would likely involve multiple forms of contact, including written, phone and in person. Preparation of the contact materials would be prepared by others if that’s not your area of expertise. It does not include raising funds via membership fees.
Strategic/Tactical Planning: This would involve identification of FOML objectives and the best strategies and tactics to achieve them. It is more focused on “what” we should be doing rather than the “actual “doing.” The output of this individual or group would provide the action plan framework for most of the other functions.
Consulting/Mentoring: This would involve working with other Friends groups to help them be the best they can be. It would involve knowing how to ask the right questions, strong interpersonal skills, process discipline and the aggregation of the best resources to address a group’s needs (e.g., tips from our manual, blog articles, subject matter experts, other tools).
Research/Analysis: Skills involve helping create, conduct and report on research projects, primarily aimed at member and non-member Friends groups. Also, analyzing data to help, provide direction for strategic planning. Familiarity with Excel is a plus.
Member Relations: Strong verbal communication skills are helpful, as this would primarily involve reaching out to members via phone to encourage renewal of membership, welcome new members, thank renewing members and respond to operational questions.
Photography/Videography: Photos and video are key to effective social media and website content. This would primarily involve the creation of short videos on a variety of topics that would be made available to various audiences via our website, on Facebook, in the mentoring program, etc.
Networking: This involves having the ability to create a network of valuable contacts that can be accessed for information or other needs in support of our mission and objectives (e.g., individual Friends groups, donor candidates, etc.). It is a skill that is essential in fundraising.